Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spoke with CounterPunch about her differences with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Stein praised Sanders “for ‘giving voice and legitimacy’ to key majority-progressive policy sentiments,” but asked, “How long will a campaign calling for ‘revolution’ be tolerated by a counter-revolutionary party?”
Stein continued, “Whether our campaign is a Plan B for Bernie supporters…or whether we’re Plan A because we need a real movement that is independent of the corporate interests that dominate the Democratic Party from top to bottom, it’s important to ensure that this revolution lives on in way that is deep and that will grow strong…and you really have to discount the last decades of experience to think that the Democratic Party is going to just roll over and allow this to happen.”
Stein also said she has considerable differences with Sanders. She points out that Sanders backs drone warfare and “‘supports governments that commit egregious human rights abuses,’ including Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.” She says he has backed the expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program because it will bring jobs to Vermont, and calls him “a loyal man of U.S. global empire.” She also said, “Bernie treats Edward Snowden like a criminal rather than a hero.”
They have domestic policy differences as well, including Stein’s call for the nationalization of the Federal Reserve and her opposition to high-stakes standardized testing, which Sanders supports.
Wikipedia section on Bernie Sanders’ Liberty Union campaigns for public office:
While at the University of Chicago, Sanders joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party of America, and was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a student organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Under Sanders’ chairmanship, the university chapter of CORE merged with the university chapter of SNCC. In January 1962, Sanders led a rally at the University of Chicago administration building to protest university president George Wells Beadle‘s segregated campus housing policy. “We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments,” Sanders said at the protest. Sanders and 32 other students then entered the building and camped outside the president’s office, performing the first civil rights sit-in in Chicago history. After weeks of sit-ins, Beadle and the university formed a commission to investigate discrimination. He once spent a day putting up fliers protesting against police brutality, only to eventually notice that a Chicago police car was shadowing him and taking them all down.
Sanders attended the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. That summer, he was convicted of resisting arrest during a demonstration against segregation in Chicago’s public schools and was fined $25.
In addition to his civil rights activism during the 1960s and 1970s, Sanders was active in several peace and antiwar movements. He was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Student Peace Union while attending the University of Chicago. Sanders applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War; his application was eventually turned down, by which point he was too old to be drafted. Although he opposed the war, Sanders never placed any blame on those who fought and has been a strong supporter of veterans’ benefits.
Liberty Union campaigns
Sanders began his electoral political career in 1971 as a member of the Liberty Union Party, which originated in the anti-war movement and the People’s Party. He ran as the Liberty Union candidate for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate for U.S. senator in 1972 and 1974. In the 1974 Senatorial race, Sanders finished third (5,901 votes; 4.1%) behind the victor, 33-year-old Chittenden County State’s Attorney Patrick Leahy (D, VI; 70,629 votes; 49.4%), and two-term incumbent U.S. Representative Dick Mallary (R; 66,223 votes; 46.3%).
The 1976 campaign proved to be the zenith of Liberty Union’s influence, with Sanders collecting 11,000 votes for Governor and the party forcing the races for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State to be decided by the state legislature when its vote total prevented either the Republican or Democratic candidates for those offices from garnering a majority of votes. The campaign drained the finances and energy of the Liberty Union, however, and in October 1977 — less than a year after the conclusion of the 1976 campaign — Sanders and the Liberty Union candidate for Attorney General, Nancy Kaufman, announced their retirement from the party.
Following his resignation from Liberty Union, Sanders worked as a writer and the director of the nonprofit American People’s Historical Society (APHS). While with the APHS, he made a 30-minute documentary about American Socialist leader and presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs.